While you certainly won’t be “roughing it” at any of the safari camps we partner with, considerations include a preference for soft-sided, tented camps, or more permanent brick- and-mortar resorts. We suggest a mix of both. Glamping in the bush ensures you’re up close and personal to wildlife, with nighttime acoustics as proof. Alternatively, after several days on safari, a massage, air conditioning, and infinity edge pool at an upscale resort are all the more decadent.
Sabora Tented Camp (Grumeti) was one of our favorites. Located on the plains of Kenya, wake up with a private outdoor shower, sweeping views, and wildlife sightings. Classic 1920s décor includes antique cars on the lawn, a safari-inspired colonial library, and a tented spa.
The quintessential safari gem is Sasakwa Lodge. Set high up on a scenic ridge in the Serengeti, old-world elegance includes a posh bar, intuitive service, and an infinity pool with arguably the best view in Tanzania. Private cottages are perfect for families or traveling couples, and don’t miss a visit to the Singita Cooking School, which grooms local talent into skilled chefs. Another trip highlight was visiting the JOC (Joint Operations Center)—the anchor to Singita Grumeti Fund’s tireless conservation and anti-poaching efforts. Click here to discover the famous anti-poacher we met, Gotera Gamba. Under the helm of British soldier Wesley Gold, 5,000 poachers have been captured.
Book a night game drive at Sasakwa for the ultimate safari buzz. Sunset sundowners with Singita are a must, followed by a search at dusk for lions on the prowl.
South Africa is best during the U.S. winter and spring months, while East Africa is beautiful during our summer and fall months, largely due to rainfall. Kenya is where the famous film Out of Africa was produced. Colonial British roots are the fabric of Kenya, as is traditional Maasai culture. A trip to South Africa, by contrast, includes more varied and active endeavors like stand-up paddle boarding around penguin colonies, cage diving amongst great whites, plus biking (and tasting!) through breathtaking local vineyards.
Tangulia Mara Tented Camp is the only Maasai-owned property. One of the owners and guides is the famous Jackson Looseyia. He grew up among the animals and became a safari guide turned BBC documentary presenter. Mara Plains Camp (Kenya) is located in the concession. Expect less vehicles and people than in the park. Rooms are stunning, with canvas roofs perched on wooden platforms. A Relais and Chateaux property, it’s also food focused.
Visit traditional Maasai Villages and shop handcrafted wares and beaded designs by local women and children. This ancient tribe is the heartbeat of East African history.
There’s liveaboards, and then seeing the islands aboard the Integrity, which hosts a maximum of 16 guests. Ideal for adventurists, foodies, and wine lovers, a multigenerational trip buyout ensures island bliss. Bookend the Integrity with stays at Hacienda Zuleta and Mashpi Lodge—both National Geographic Unique Lodges of the world.
Highlights to the Integrity include:
– Minimize contact with other visitors while maximizing your Galapagos experience.
– Luxurious and intimate guest cabins.
– Handcrafted cuisine by professionally trained chefs, who source local ingredients.
– Hassle free and all-inclusive—entertainment for the kids and activities for adults, all in a safe, worry-free setting.
– Cally Pirrung
– Jill Taylor